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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  January 17, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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>> pelley: tonight, the death toll rises in the cruise ship disaster. dramatic audio surfaces of the captain refusing to return to the ship after evacuating ahead of his passengers. have some cruise ships become too big to be safe? reports from allen pizzey and mark strassmann. mitt romney says his income is taxed at about 15%-- less than half the top rate. jan crawford and john dickerson are covering. the government launches a new attack on alzehimer's disease. dr. jon lapook has the battle plan. and he risked his life to save his shipmates. john blackstone on why it's taken 66 years to honor his war-time heroism.
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captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. divers pulled five bodies from the partially sungen "costa concordia" today, bringing the dead in the y federallian ship disaster to at least 11. the captain has been placed under house arrest with dramatic few evidence tonight that he left the ship before his passengers. we now have these remarkable pictures of the friday night evacuation. this is black and white infrared video taken from a helicopter and those dark figures are hundreds of passengers standing on the side of the ship and lowering themselves in a long line down a rope ladder into the sea. 24 are still missing, including jerry and barbara heil of white bear lake, minnesota. the "costa concordia" nearly a thousand feet long with 14 decks lies on the rocky shore of the
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island of giglio off italy's west coast. that's where allen pizzey is tonight with details about the bodies found today. allen? >> reporter: good evening, scott. well, the four men and one woman were found all wearing their life jackets near an evacuation point at the stern of the ship. as far as is known, they don't include the missing american couple. the bodies of the five victims were brought to shore together in a police launch. alpine rescue specialists are working their way along the steep sides of the wreck trying to peer into cabins still inaccessible through the debris-strewn passage ways. demolition experts blasted four holes in the hull today, two of them underwater, to gain access and make it easier for bodies to be brought out. (screaming) as the chaos unfolded, a dramatic audiotape released today seems to indicate that captain francesco schettino fled the ship long before his passengers and crew were off. the audiotape turns into a
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shouting match between the coast guard and the ship's captain in his lifeboat. but the next few calls from the coast guard went unanswered. finally, the captain picks up. he says he's coordinating the rescue from his lifeboat. the coast guard officer orders him to get back on the ship. >> reporter: the captain refused to return to the ship he had run aground and today he was questioned for three hours by
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prosecutors on charges of multiple manslaughter and abandoning his ship. after pleas from his lawyer he not be sent to jail, captain francesco schettino was ordered under house arrest, a decision that is already being widely criticized. scott? >> pelley: allen, what do we know about captain schettino? > reporter: well, he comes from the naples area, scott. there's an area that produces a lot of italy's ferry and cruise boat senior officers. he was made a captain in 2006. some people describe him as being very personable and as far as is known he hasn't done anything wrong prior to this. >> pelley: allen, thank you very much. the size of ocean liners has increased by about 50% in just the past decade as measured by their gross tonnage. have a look. in its day, the "titanic" was the largest. it could carry 3,320 passengers and crew. the "costa concordia" had a
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capacity of 4,900. the largest today, the "allure of the seas" hol 8,700. how do you evacuate a ship that large? we asked mark strassmann to look into it. >> reporter: the "emerald princess" was in fort lauderdale preparing for a ten day caribbean cruise, the ship stands 20 stories tall, similar in size to the "costa concordia." 15 decks carry more than 4,000 passengers and crew. roughly 100 megaships carry at least 2,000 passengers. that's 40% of the world's cruise fleet. for cruise companies, building bigger ship cans increase profits by lowering construction costs by $50,000 per passenger. michael crye is an executive with the cruise line's international association, an industry trade group. he points out 16 million people cruise every year safely. >> in this case, this was very much an anomaly. it wasn't... the record in the
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industry has been outstanding for many years. >> reporter: the international safety standard requires a crew to evacuate all cruise passengers within 30 minutes of an order to abandon ship. it took 14 hours to rescue the last person off the "costa con cardia" which is half the size of the "allure of the seas," the most mammoth cruise ship sailing today. maritime lawyer brett rivkind says bigger ships mean bigger challenges in a crisis. >> with those amount of people and crew members you're talking about panic and chaos, which is exactly what the passengers on the "costa con cardia" reported happened. when that happens there's disasters. >> reporter: scott, we wondered whether anyone had gathered 3,000 people on a cruise ship, grabbed a stopwatch and seen if they could evacuate the ship in under half an hour. no one had heard of such a full-scale evacuation drill ever being tried. >> pelley: mark, thank you very much. watching the pictures of the
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"costa concordia today" we wondered how do you get a ship like that off the rocks? our research department called associated marine salvage in miami and talked with captain beau pain. captain payne told us the salvage company would pump out 500,000 gallons of fuel on board because the wreck is in a marine sanctuary for dolphins and whales. then the salvagers would likely patch the holes and pump out the water. the ship would wright itself. the "costa concordia" would be towed to a shipyard. captain payne says it's likely cruiseline will try to return the $450 million ship to service. he did not say any of this would be easy or cheap. in the presidential campaign, republican mitt romney acknowledged today that, like a lot of very wealthy people, his income is taxed by the federal government at a rate of about 15%. that's the rate for what are called capital gains-- essentially income from
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investments. and it's a lot less than the top rate for other kinds of income. jan crawford is covering the romney campaign in south carolina tonight. jan? >> reporter: well, scott, romney was talking about that tax rate that high-powered and rich people like investor warren buffett pays. he was actually criticizing propose as to cut it even further when a reporter asked what rate he paid. >> it's probably closer to the 15% rate than anything because my last ten years i've... my income comes overwhelmingly from investments made in the past rather than ordinary income or rather than earned annual income. >> reporter: ma that means romney, like buffett, pays a rate about half the highest income tax rate and closer to the 14% paid by middle-class families-- those earning between $34,000 and $50,000. romney pays that lower rate because most of his income is from profits on his investments which, under federal law, are taxed at 15%. after romney talked about his
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other sources of income, democrats pounced. >> i got a little bit of income from my book but i gave that all away. and then i get speaker's fees from time to time, but not very much. (laughs). >> reporter: it was only hours before democrats were pointing out that romney actually made $374,000 last year in speaking fees which they said was more than seven times the median household income in america. now, it's clear from all this that democrats would try to use that against romney in the general election, but, scott, we're not at the general election yet and what's less clear is how the republican candidates will respond and how those republican voters will react. >> pelley: primary day in south carolina saturday. thanks, jan. all of this made us curious about what tax rate president obama is paying. the rate on his latest federal return filed last year was 33.8%. that's because most of his income came from book royalties and from his federal salary of
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$400,000 a year. all of that is taxed as ordinary income. how are the tax returns of the rich and famous going to play with voters who are struggling with 8.5% unemployment? for some insight into that we turn to john dickerson, our cbs news political director who's been talking to voters in south carolina this week. john? >> reporter: in talking to voters at various events, i got two reactions. one was from people who thought, gee, they paid a little bit more than 15%. one man said given all of the money governor romney has, shouldn't he pay a little bit more. but the overwhelming reaction was from people who saw nothing wrong with them. governor romney didn't break any rules and they like lower capital gains. a woman from lexington, south carolina, explained in the textbook fashion. she said "lower capital gains allow people like governor romney to invest in companies. companies then hire workers and that keeps the economy going." voters are also skeptical of any republican who would use this against romney. sounds like the dems, said one voter, in what what he called
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class warfare talking points. >> pelley: john, those are republicans in south carolina. how will this play going forward into the general election? >> reporter: in the general election, it's a little more tricky for governor romney. his key selling point is that his business experience gives him unique insight into the economy. democrats will say that his wealth means on the economy he doesn't understand how regular people live their lives. it's a version of the attack that republicans used against john kerry in 2004. so when governor romney says president obama is out of touch and points to his record, democrats, scott, will say that governor romney is out of touch and point to his tax bracket. >> pelley: john, thanks very much. in wisconsin, republican scott walker has been governor there for just one year but his democratic opponents have now completed a petition drive to force a recall election. today they filed more than a million signatures, twice the number needed. the recall effort began when walker pushed through a law that prevents unions from bargaining
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collectively on any issue but wages. the federal government declares a war on alzheimer's disease while the battle of the bulge rages on. the latest on the obesity epidemic. and what happens to students when their school district goes broke when the "cbs evening news" continues. in three minut- the deliciousness that brings a smile to any monday. campbell's -- it's amazing what soup can do. then i found new pronutrients omega-3. it's from centrum. it's a smaller minigel. with two of the best omegas to support my heart, brain and eyes. new pronutrients from centrum. to support my heart, brain and eyes. like splenda® essentials™ no calorie sweeteners. this bowl of strawberries is loaded with vitamin c.
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for alzehimer's disease in just 13 years, by 2025. more than five million americans who are living with alzheimer's in 2010 and by 2050 it could be as many as 16 million. dr. jon lapook has been following one couple's struggle with the disease. >> reporter: carol daley is 68 years old and suffering from advanced alzheimer's. her husband mike is a retired new york city cop now working at a local library. everyday he brings carol to work because he can't leave her alone. >> she just doesn't have the ability anymore to... to function independently. and she has to depend on me. >> reporter: when we first met mike and carol in 2008 she was starting an experimental drug. let me ask you a question, how old are you? >> 65. >> reporter: when we visited her nearly two years later, it was clear the therapy had failed. how old are you?
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>> how old am i? >> reporter: how old? >> 80? no? i don't know. >> reporter: and this afternoon? how old are you? >> i don't know. >> reporter: the cruel fact is, alzheimer's patients don't get better. at today's meeting in washington, government advisors tried to set priorities for a national campaign to treat and manage the disease that is projected to cost more than a trillion dollars by 2050. but the plan doesn't include any funding. dr. joshua chodosh of u.c.l.a. studied the impact of alzheimer's in california. >> this is a crisis that's only going to grow enormously in the next 20 years and now is the time to act, not when it's even worse than it is now. >> reporter: the dalys have been married for almost 48 years. he's frustrated by the lack of progress but isn't ready to let go. >> it's very difficult. i can't lose her.
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i pray to god... that she goes before me. >> reporter: a top priority will be arming doctors with tools to recognize symptoms early. >> pelley: jon, if there is no effective treatment what does it matter if it's found early? >> reporter: scott, the thinking is right now we may have effective drugs but we're giving them too late. it turns out that the changes in the brain actually start ten, 20 years before the symptoms so we have to identify the symptoms early and give the drugs then. it's like with heart disease. if you wait for somebody to have five heart attacks and he's in heart failure and we say "why don't we give lipitor?" it's too late. the same thing may be true for drugs for the treatment of alzheimer's. >> pelley: thank you, jon. for more information, go to our partner in health news, webmd.com and search "alzheimer's." we've reached a stalemate in the fight against obesity. today the centers for disease control said that as of 2010, a
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third of american adults, 78 million, were obese. and so were nearly 13 million children. there are... these are about the same levels as in 2003. a school district that's beyond broke may shut the doors to thousands of students. that story's next.
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cutting aid to public schools is one way they're doing it. and one school district near philadelphia with more than 6,000 students is now completely out of cash. me shill miller tells us it may have to close some schools in midterm. >> reporter: the top of the agenda at this school board meeting in chester, pennsylvania, was survival. >> how can y'all sit here and say y'all are trying. no, you're not trying hard enough! >> reporter: the school district needs $20 million to get through the rest of the school year. kashay taylor is a high school junior. so you don't have the appropriate textbooks. >> no. >> pelley: what about your teachers? >> teachers try their best, most of them. they pay for paper out of their own money. >> reporter: pennsylvania ran the financially troubled district for 16 years. school board members claim the state left them with a deficit when the board regained control. tom persing is chester's acting deputy superintendent. >> they said "we can not help you at this time. we don't have the money or we don't choose to fund you."
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>> reporter: to help balance its budget, pennsylvania cut funding for local schools. in chester, it amounts to a $12 million reduction, or 13%. low-income districts like chester don't have the tax revenue to fill the budget gap. >> it puts the poorer school districts in a tremendous disadvantage. we're the first domino to fall. >> our students are in jeopardy! >> reporter: since 2008, 30 states cut more than $25 billion from local school budgets. four slashed school funding by more than 20%. do you want out? >> i do. >> reporter: if there is a shutdown, 11th grader darius fasset worries neighboring schools will be reluctant to accept chester students because of poor test scores. i want to be able to sit in class and have enough textbooks to go over stuff. >> save our schools! >> reporter: late today, pennsylvania agreed to provide chester $3.2 million in emergency funding.
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it's you have no make payroll for a month as the district and the state weigh the cost of saving chester's schools. michelle miller, cbs news, chester, pennsylvania. >> pelley: students in chester and, in fact, all across the country won't have wikipedia as an online reference source tomorrow. starting at midnight, the english-language version will shut down for 24 hours. wikipedia's editors say the blackout is a protest against two antipiracy bills being considered by the u.s. congress. those bills would block access to web sites like wikipedia that link to copyrights material. a hero finally gets the honor he earned 66 years ago when we come back. it's the only calcium supplement that can be taken with or without food. that's why my doctor recommends citracal maximum. it's all about absorption.
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and hello to "whoa, yum." use campbell's cream of chicken soup to make easy enchiladas, cheesy chicken & rice, and other chicken dishes that are oh...so...whoa. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. >> pelley: finally tonight, it was a long wait. way too long. but today a grateful nation finally gave a hero his due. john blackstone on an injustice made right. >> reporter: in the naval battles of the second world war, there were many acts of heroism. but what carl clark did wasn't recognized until today by the secretary of the navy. (applause) clark is now 95 years old. he lived the first half of his
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life in a nation where racism was written into rules. at home and in the u.s. navy. >> in 1936 when i joined the navy a black man could be nothing but a servant for white officers. >> reporter: in may, 1945, he was on the destroyer "aaron ward" when it came under attack by japanese kamikaze pilots. he was on firefighting duty with seven others. >> first plane hit, it wiped out all of these guys. all of the seven men. >> reporter: injured and alone, he put out every fire, keeping the ruined ship afloat as it was hit by six kamikazes. what gave you the courage to stay on the deck? >> it wasn't... i don't think it was courage. i don't know what it was. but my captain told me the next day after the battle "clark, i want to thank you for saving my shape." he told me that. but when they made up the battle
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report they didn't even put my name in the battle report. >> reporter: why couldn't they put that in the report? >> because i was a black man. because i was a black man. >> reporter: clark figure it is navy just couldn't admit that a ship full of white sailors was saved by a black steward. two years ago, a local congresswoman took up his cause. and today, 66 years later, he was finally awarded a medal for distinguished service in combat. he says it belongs to all those black sailors whose bravery went unrecognized. >> i'm going to mention about those men that went down all those ships that i know. >> reporter: those men who did not live to see america change. john blackstone, cbs news, mountain view, california. >> pelley: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night.
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captioning sponsored by cbs this is 9news now. >> the young man charged with running down a little boy and his mom while driving drunk had a blood alcohol content almost twice the legal limit. and it turns out, he lived in the same apartment complex as the boy and the mother he hit. here's peggy fox. >> maria is the grandmother of 8-year-old brian hernandez chavez who was killed on sunday afternoon. his mother was severely injured when police say a drunk driver jumped a curb and barreled into them. they were walking to land mark mall along duke street just past the i-395 overpass. >> i can't believe he's gone. he was like a little brother to me. >> brian's uncle, 15-year-old martin lopez says he

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